A new book, which I have been looking forward to reading, by Don Donderi, has reached the top of my reading pile. The book is "UFOs, ETs and Alien Abductions: A Scientific Look at the Evidence," published this year by Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, VA. ISBN 978-1-57174-695-5.
Who is Donderi?
The back of the book tells us that Don Donderi is a joint Canadian/US citizen. He holds a BA, a BSc and a PhD. "He served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, at the McCall University." His area of speciality knowledge is human visual perception and memory.
Donderi "Started to read about UFOs when I was ten years old." (p.xi.) He investigated various reports, which included photographic cases; close encounters; occupant cases and abduction cases, in Canada. Of the individual witnesses which he met, he says "Nothing in the behaviour or personal history of any of them leads me to think that they are mentally disturbed or that they told fabulous stories for personal or psychological gain." (pp xix-xx.)
The work is divided into three sections, "UFOs," "Extraterrestrials," and "Us." Part one is the area where Donderi reviews the subject from the 1947 Kenneth Arnold sighting; the 1957 RB-47 event; the 1973 Coyne helicopter case; contactees; Project Blue Book, amongst others.
There is a quick review of researchers Hynek; Keyhoe; and Menzel, plus UFO groups APRO, NICAP, FUFOR, MUFON and CUFOS.
Part two sees Donderi take a look at such cases as the 1967 Ririe, Idaho CE; the 1966 Hill event; the 1968 Buff Edge, Vermont case; the 1976 Allagash abduction; and the 1989 Goodland, Kansas incident, amongst others.
Perhaps the most important section, to me, is part three, where he examines how science has treated the subject.
"The scientists who dismisses UFO evidence because it is "folklore" is putting facts into the wrong pigeonhole." (p.170.)
"When a UFO case attracts enough public attention, a scientific spokesman often advances a specious conventional explanation. If a specious conventional explanation cannot be advanced, some scientific person is likely to remark that we don't have enough information to explain the anomaly but if we did, the anomaly would disappear." (p.171.)
After all his investigations, research and personal analysis, what does Donderi conclude about the phenomenon?
"On the basis of that training and my knowledge o the evidence, I think that some of what people report as UFOs are extraterrestrial vehicles." (p.x.)
"No open-minded and reasonable person who has read and understood the evidence should now doubt that we have seen and tracked machines in our skies that we do not know how to make." (p.71.)
After reviewing abduction cases, "I think that the six cases described earlier, as well as many others, show that extraterrestrial occupants have abducted people into UFOs, examined them, interacted with them in other ways and then, after one to two hours returned them to earth." (p.144.)
"Established scientists do not have the resilience to acknowledge that some reliable instrumental records and human observations are caused by extraterrestrial vehicles and by extraterrestrials." (p.171.)